|Evidence of the sponsor's support might be found in a simple list of contributors to its funding; via a plaque or some form of label on an item within the building ("Contributed by ..."); by the naming of, for instance, a lecture theatre or science laboratory or other facility; or even by the sponsor's name being included in the name of the building itself.
Clearly there are overlaps between sponsorship and philanthropy in this area. Having said that, it is also reasonable to assume that funders' motivations for the provision and naming of certain buildings, eg The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts on the campus of The University of East Anglia (left), were purely philanthropic.
There certainly seems to be a great deal of potential currently for sponsors to become involved in this form of association with academic establishments.
Four out of five universities are planning to spend more than £5m on new construction work next year, according to recent research from Wates, which revealed that 79% have building plans, as the higher education sector continues to be a major source of work for contractors.
The boom comes as universities compete to attract foreign and domestic students by offering improved facilities. This has led to a third of universities working on major plans such as partnerships to set up science parks or to put a hotel on their campus.
A spokesperson for Wates said: "Students are being asked to pay more than ever before for a university degree. That means they expect a quality of experience that reflects the high price they are paying. In order to remain competitive, universities are therefore looking to deliver modern facilities that have the 'wow' factor while also encouraging more efficient and collaborative use of space".